Monthly Archives: November 2012

Thankful

This morning I’m sitting in my Dad’s dining room while my sisters, Kristin and Kaylan, are cooking, Kari is in the shower, Kevin and his family are in Houston spending Thanksgiving at home. My nieces are sitting on stools watching what’s going on in the kitchen and eating cinnamon rolls. My brother in-law, Kari’s boyfriend, Alan (family friend)  and my nephew are still sleeping. Kaylan’s boyfriend is “helping” in the kitchen by being the official food taster, my great-uncle is watching TV and my Dad is sitting beside me drinking coffee.

It’s 8:30am and this is only the beginning.

As the day goes on this house will fill with more family and friends. There will be lots of food, lots of laughing, probably a little fighting.

The only missing element this Thanksgiving morning is the sound of my Mom’s voice and laughter in the mix, but I’m sure that Heaven rings with both today– my Mom has a laugh that sings with joy.

This morning I am thankful.

I’m thankful for a family that isn’t perfect, but knows how to love.  A family who creates a place for people to belong.

I’m thankful for possibility.

I’m thankful for the sound of my neighbor singing to and giggling with her three-year old daughter, after the terrifying sound of her screams for help last Thursday morning.

I’m especially thankful for God’s grace– grace that allows us to see what is beautiful in the midst of pain and struggle, that inspires us to love when it is most needed, to act when it requires the most bravery, and that makes it possible for us to carry inside us God’s spirit.

I hope that this Thanksgiving morning you will be filled with the awareness of God’s great love for you, whatever your day looks like, whatever you face tomorrow.

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Marriage

This is one of the best descriptions of what marriage is for that I’ve ever heard. When you have some time, please give it a listen. It’s also got some stuff on gender roles in there!

http://ancientfaith.com/specials/orthodox_institute_2012_culture_morality_spirituality/dr._philip_mamalakis_gender_as_icon_and_vocation

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Video Tuesday: Tony Moore’s Ask Me Anything About . . . Homosexuality.

It’s video Tuesday and I had another video planned but then I watched this video from our friend Tony Moore and it’s so excellent I decided to share it instead. As we have mentioned here before, Tony is the pastor of Transformation House in South Carolina and he has an awesome testimony . We are big fans of Transformation House here. Anyway, in this video he answers some questions from his congregation and shares a little of his own story . I hope you find it informative and helpful and most of all full of hope and love and compassion ! Some of the questions he looks at are

  • What are your views on Homosexuality ?
  • What do you tell your church about Homosexuality?
  • Why does this issue cause such a divide in the church?
  • What are your views on the LGBT community ?
  • Can you support a person with out accepting their choices ?
  • Do you think it’s right for “Christians” who believe it’s wrong to bash the homosexuals?
  • Many Christians say I can’t be saved and love Jesus if I am gay. Do you agree?

One of our passions at Tourniquet is to help the church become a more compassionate and loving place for people who are impacted by SSA  and I mean all people, the ones who identify as gay, the ones who struggle the ones who love people who do any of the above and that includes us, the kids of those people. Growing up ,the church wasn’t the warmest most understand place for me and my siblings, parents were flat out scared of what they didn’t understand about our family and not many tried to understand so for the children of people with SSA the church can be a lonely place . We wanna change that. So that’s why when I find a pastor talking to his church about this in a way that will help I am gonna do my best to pass it along.

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Exodus Week-End Review for Nov.16th

Great video this week, Alan answers a question that is probably on a lot of peoples minds right now and shares some great resources . Watch the video to find out more about . . .

http://exodusinternational.org/

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Awesome Blogs. Making Room: a Shift Towards Compassion

Today I want to share this post from the Exodus blog by guest speaker Julie Rodgers.

As a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, I’ve spent the past decade of my life trying to change my homosexual orientation.  When I attended my first Exodus conference ten years ago, I heard story after story of people who had experienced substantial shifts in their sexual attractions.  Countless men and women, who had previously been involved in intimate homosexual relationships, were sharing compelling testimonies about their transformation from homosexual to heterosexual.

Thrilled with the prospect that I too would experience a similar transformation in my attractions, I committed myself whole-heartedly to the process.  About seven years into that season—the non-stop support groups, ongoing counseling, healthy friendships with heterosexual women, abstaining from homosexual behavior, and praying with all my heart for the Lord to change my desires—I realized I was as passionately attracted to women as I had ever been.  I felt more alive, with a more vibrant relationship with Christ and His people, but I was still almost exclusively attracted to other women.  When I watched a romantic comedy, I dreamed of snuggling with a girl rather than a man holding me tight.

Click through to read the rest of the article

Julie Rodgers is the High School Mentor Coordinator for Mercy Street Ministries,a mentoring program for inner city youth in West     Dallas. She is also privileged to serve on the leadership team of Living Hope Ministries in Arlington, TX where she is given the opportunity to walk with those who are seeking sexual and relational wholeness in Jesus Christ. She is a frequent speaker at Exodus events.

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Video Tuesday. Shine!

I know it’s not Christmas yet and I mean Thanksgiving no disrespect but I am already in a Christmasey mood and as odd as you may find it this song speaks to me of the real Christmas message so I am sharing it with you, I hope you enjoy!

Send me a sign
A hint, a whisper
Throw me a line
‘Cause I am listening

Come break the quiet
Breathe your awakening
Bring me to life
‘Cause I am fading

(Surround me) with the rush of angels’ wings

Shine Your light so I can see You
Pull me up, I need to be near You
Hold me, I need to feel love
Can You overcome this heart that’s overcome?

You sent a sign
A hint, a whisper
Human divine
Heaven is listening

Death laid love quiet
Yet in the night a stirring

(All around) the rush of angels

Oh, the wonder of the greatest love has come

Shine Your light so all can see it
Lift it up, ’cause the whole world needs it
Love has come, what joy to hear it
He has overcome
He has overcome

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Exodus Week-End Review for Nov. 9th

Sorry we missed last week guys but here’s the new Exodus Week-End review. Great question of the Week this week as well as some wonderful resources watch the video to find out more about . . .

And don’t forget, if you would like to be a part of the wonderful work of Exodus International through prayer or financial support head over to the website and click on the Support Exodus link!

http://exodusinternational.org/

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In Between.

“Everybody says that time heals everything, but what of the wretched hollow, the endless in between? Are we just going to wait it out?” – Imogen Heap

Lately I feel like every day is a struggle for me to stay focused, to stay faithful, and to stay sane in a lot of cases.
In June of last year I came to a startling realization while at the Exodus Freedom Conference. Kristin and I were sitting in rocking chairs, looking out into mountains and I realized that the direction of my life had to change. I remember the exact moment, it felt something like panic and freedom all at the same time. At the time I had been living in Dallas for just under two years, within the first year we lost my mom, but somehow I had managed to hold it together just long enough to accomplish what I had come to Dallas to do– to be promoted within my company. I had just been given that promotion a month before the conference, and as I sat there with my sister rocking my team was going through training to open the new store where I would take on my new role. I remember looking out into the mist and realizing that everything I had been working towards had to change, I didn’t know how that would play out, but I was certain that, somehow, someway, it had to change.

What I wasn’t prepared for was how painful going through the change would be. I went home after the conference and it seemed like things were going back to normal. I didn’t know what change was going to mean or what it would look like. I didn’t know what to expect and I think I might have stopped expecting anything just about the time things with my job began to fall apart. In the months that followed the conference I faced some of the most challenging situations I have ever faced in a job. I felt completely defeated, rejected, and abandoned. People who I considered friends turned their back on me, and in the end part of the change that I really didn’t expect was having to turn around and move back to the Austin area.

After all the hurt and frustration of those several months, I managed to take some hope because I remembered that moment in the rocking chairs, and I could see that even though the whole situation was disappointing and felt out of control, even though I was hurt, I could see God’s hand in it. Looking back at it I still know that it had to happen the way it did, had it not I would have had a difficult time letting go of things I needed to let go of. I was emotionally exhausted after my move, but I felt hopeful that if God had orchestrated all of that, and if I had survived it without being mortally wounded, that good things were to come.

With this move I suffered a demotion with my company and a significant pay cut. Although it was frustrating, I went into it knowing that it was time to start looking for work elsewhere, and I trusted that things were in motion… That is when the stillness came.

I started in my demoted role this February… and in spite of resumes sent and meetings, I still have no clue where I’m going or where I should be. What do you do when you have a clear sense that where you are is not where you should be, but at the same time you have no sense of where “should be” is?
I can’t possibly be alone in this, I know that I’m not the only person who’s found themselves in this in between place… an in between place that becomes more and more uncomfortable as the days pass. Maybe this is how the Israelites felt in the desert when they built the Golden Calf, even after they had walked through the bottom of the sea to escape enslavement.

I don’t want to forget what God has walked me through, where He has brought me from, and I don’t want to lose hope for the future either. As we move into God’s plans for us, what do we do in the middle? How do we not lose our minds? I wish I had answers now, but maybe if we struggle together we will find them.

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A Safe Place.

Today I read this article Growing Up With Two Moms:The Untold Children’s View, it was written a few months ago by a man named Robert Lopez who grew up with two moms, he shares about his confusion and difficulty growing up without a father or any other male role model.He also talks about feeling silenced by the gay community .  Having grown up in a somewhat more traditional family with only one SSA parent I don’t know the same pain as Robert Lopez but I do identify with his frustration about not being counted,but instead silenced. He talks about being ignored and treated like it would be better if his voice was erased from the public conversation on this issue. And while I don’t share all of his views I appreciate and commend his determination and willingness to speak out .

He also talks about the affirmation he found in the 2012 Regnerus Study , a study that explores the impact of SSA parenting on the children involved. And it makes sense that he would feel that way. The study has received praise and criticism but I don’t think voices like Mr. Lopez’s can be ignored anymore.

At Tourniquet we are not here to push any agenda whether we agree with it or not. What we are here to do is give people like Me, like Mr. Lopez , like you a safe place to speak, a place to find support and understanding and a place to find a way forward. We believe that restoration is possible even in these  hard situations and that no matter what your upbringing you can find hope and freedom through a relationship with Jesus Christ. We hope to one day be able to reach more and more kids of SSA parents because we know the loneliness of growing up where you are misunderstood from every side and we have found that there is restoration in Jesus and a purpose in our stories!

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